stanford or pratt (grad id) help decide


I have been accepted to both pratt MID and stanford MFA (joint program in design). I have read nearly everything about them on these forums. But still I cannot decide.

I have a BA ID from Turkey and will be going to these schools on a scholarship (up to 25,000 in tuition the rest I have to pay myself) after my grad. education I wont to be able to go back to turkey and work. OK, it would be nice to get a name back home but this is not my main concern and I believe that is more marketing that design, but I mainly want to enjoy design more and learn new stuff. I would like to feel completed as a designer.

I believed Pratt was suitable for me where I would be able to extend my general design knowledge and abilities with their more generalized courses and also get a chance to freshen my abilities (that I bellieve I have lost) with drawing classes and 3d cad lessons.

Although I really like stanford in general I somehow think that I will be repeating to much stuff that I had done in the past and not be able to gain enough graduate skills. But my BA professors from turkey think that I should choose stanford for reasons such as :
-that I’d be the first turkish student to go into this program and it would give me a lot of recognition back home (which I dont know if I want)
-that will be opening soon and that I would benefit from the preparations of this
-the firms and industry involved in this program??? I am not sure about this one who is involved apart from IDEO?

well that’s it… I also wonder if there is anyone from stanford here? I know there are some people from pratt so I hope they answer at least?

Sorry its a long post but I am really confused :frowning:
:] please do comment…

the is no different from the current program, nor is it a new school. it is a rebranding / repositioning of the “joint program” currently conducted between Stanford Engineering and Stanford’s College of Arts and Sciences. It’s being branded in order to create a buzz in the industry and generate excitement, as well as promoted design thinking by ostensibly taking design education to the Stanford business school, engineering school and outside programs.

you’ll note that in the website there is no mention of anything to do with programs, students, prospective students or even admissions. that is not the intention of the

I spoke with some of the students and professors from the joint program recently, and my understanding of the D-School is a little different. The D-School is planned to be in full swing (I believe) by 2007, however this date seems to be dictated by the construction of a new building/center. D-School courses are already taking place, but only at a small scale because it’s a new idea and they don’t yet have the facilities… My understanding of the program is that it is meant to provide the forum for an interdisciplinary approach to design, bringing professors and students from all disciplines together to form a more thorough/well rounded approach to design issues. Seems like a great idea… plus many companies like IDEO work in this fashion.

I had a simmilar dillema… deciding between Pratt and Stanford. Pratt seems to have the curriculum to fine tune technical skills plus they seem to place a lot of emphasis on the aesthetic/form (am I right?), but from what I hear, it lacks orgaization. Stanford may not have such a practical curriculum (if that’s what you’re looking for) but they do offer an innovative approach, a buzz of excitement, intelligence, and willingness to experiment, plus the opportunity to work with engineers. And, for those in the MFA program, I hear you are given a great deal of freedom in planning your curriculum. So… you could take engineering courses, or medical design courses, or anything that the school has to offer (which is a great deal… Stanford seems to have a program dedicated to everything you could imagine and of course they are taught by top notch teachers etc…)

hope this helps

+what sort of portfolio did you submit to Stanford? I talked to mostly engineering people when I was there and I am curious to know more about what sort of MFA people I might be working with…

Hi, Mu:

I am a Pratt ID alumni and met at Prattan my excellent Turkish designer friend, Mirzat Koc, who you might already know from Turkish magazines.

It really depends on what your career goal is to determine which school you will go to. For Pratt, there is a greater emphasis on form creating and artistic sensibility training. You will benefit from attending superb 3D study and transportation design courses. And New York City at large is a great campus for you to meet designers, and visit art museums and other design-related facilities.

West coast is strong in product innovation and human-centered design. Stanford, I guess, may teach you lots of cutting edge methodology in design strategy and creativity management. And that is what most wanted in many design firms.

This is all I can suggest! Good luck.


Have you tried contacting the professors and students? Talking to people sheds much more light than reading program descriptions online…

you mentioned that you wanted be able to return to Turkey and work, let me suggest that the best way to train for a design job, is to get a design job. This may sound obvious but since you have a design degree, why not just start working now?

If however, you feel incapable of getting the job you’d like - then choose Pratt. Thier Masters program can be very skills oriented (they make a point of taking non-desingers into the grad program and providing the basics)

outside of teaching, a Masters has no real value and I’d hope that Stanford would maintain thier high academic standards and demand a rigorous thesis from you, this would be outstanding groundwork for tenure but not the job world.

ultimately its your portfolio that counts the most - so decide what experience serves your career goal best.